NANA Nordic Partership

NANANordic is a journey to the Northwest Arctic of Alaska with the goal of introducing a sustainable nordic ski program in the NANA region. It is bringing together some of the best nordic skiers in the world to help introduce the lifetime sport of nordic skiing to the Alaskan Villages.

 

The partnership between Girdwood Nordic and NANANordic came about with the history of Nordic skiing in the Girdwood Valley. In 1969, two skiers for the Canadian Arctic program, TEST, competed in the U.S. Junior Nationals as guest skiers. Shirley Firth and Fred Kelley went on to place first in the individual competitions. Both skiers came out of the the program called TEST. The object of TEST was to determine if the Indian and Eskimo youths of the Yukon and Northwest Territories could be motivated to higher general personal achievement through competitive athletics and to investigate the potential of northern youths to make the best of their environment by excelling in competitive cross-country ski racing at the national and international level.

Shirley and her sister Sharon went on to become very succesful. Shirley and Sharon competed in four Winter Olympics:1972 in Sapporo, 1976 in Innsbruck, 1980 in Lake Placid, and 1984 in Sarajevo. In additon, they were inducted into the Canadian Ski Museum and Skiing Hall of Fame in 1990. 

After marrying, Shirley Firth settled in Europe for more than 20 years. While there, she received a teaching diploma from the University of Paris and lectured on Dene and Inuit cultures at various universities, schools and cultural centers in central Europe and Scandinavia. Shirley Firth was awarded the Order of Canada in 1987 and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. She later returned to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Today, Sharon helps run the Canadian Arctic program. 

For more information on Shirley and Sharon, please click here.

For more information on Girdwood and the history of the Canadian Arctic program, please click here.

How can you help?

Help through Girdwood Nordic!
Many of the villages have received “no wax” skis from the RuralCAP Ski Go Program. The cost of NANANordic includes the purchase of skis for four villages, transportation of instructors to the villages, ground transportation, freight, food and printed materials. You can help by donating gently used skis, or by being a sponsor. Every little bit helps. Contributions through Girdwood Nordic and tax deductible.
NANANordic has partnered with Girdwood Nordic to continue Alaska Nordic Ski history. Fred Kelley and Shirley Firth placed first at the 1969 US Junior Nationals Country Skiing Championships. The championships were held that year on the Alyeska Racing Trails in Girdwood. Both learned to ski from an arctic village ski program.
Sponsors will be recognized on a NANANordic web page; larsflora.com; link to NANA Web sites and Facebook pages, thank you poster for each school and for all participants.

Help through Girdwood Nordic!

Many of the villages have received “no wax” skis from the RuralCAP Ski Go Program. The cost of NANANordic includes the purchase of skis for four villages, transportation of instructors to the villages, ground transportation, freight, food and printed materials. You can help by donating gently used skis, or by being a sponsor. Every little bit helps. Contributions through Girdwood Nordic and tax deductible.

NANANordic has partnered with Girdwood Nordic to continue Alaska Nordic Ski history. Fred Kelley and Shirley Firth placed first at the 1969 US Junior Nationals Country Skiing Championships. The championships were held that year on the Alyeska Racing Trails in Girdwood. Both learned to ski from an arctic village ski program.